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Roanoke Personal Injury Law Blog

Virginia truck accidents kills teen, critically injures another

Traveling with large commercial trucks is expected on major roads in Virginia and elsewhere. While this is a common occurrence, this does not mean that motorists do not have fears and apprehensions. These large vehicles do not maneuver like smaller vehicles, and they can generate much damage in the event of an accident. Victims of truck crashes and their families have important protections through the legal process.

A truck driver was recently arrested following a fatal truck accident in Virginia. The truck accident killed one victim and left another critically injured. The initial investigation of the accident, which left one teenager dead and another in critical condition, revealed that the driver of the delivery truck lost control of the truck, over-corrected and crossed the center line, hitting the vehicle the two teenagers were traveling in.

What should I know about a traumatic brain injury?

Brain injuries can occur from a variety of different accidents, including car accidents and other types of accidents. Victims likely have many questions following such an incident and suffering a major injury. Victims of brain injuries, including traumatic brain injuries or TBI, can experience cognitive challenges, perceptual challenges, physical challenges and behavioral and emotional challenges following a traumatic brain injury. Approximately 2.6 million victims suffer brain injuries in the United States each year. Approximately 52,000 victims in the U.S. die as a result of TBI.

The cognitive impact of a traumatic brain injury can include difficulty processing information, difficulty expressing thoughts, difficulty understanding what others are communicating, impaired decision making, memory loss, shortened attention span and an inability to comprehend abstract concepts. The perceptual impact of a traumatic brain injury can include changes in vision, hearing and the sense of touch, balance issues, disorders of smell and taste, inability to sense time, spatial disorientation and heightened sensitivity to pain.

Home furnaces the subject of a recent recall

Residents in Virginia and elsewhere rely on various consumer goods each and everyday. Whether it is a vehicle, household item or a tool, these products provide vital uses for citizens. Unfortunately, these products do not always work as planned or intended. It can be alarming to realize that everyday products can cause harm in the home.

According to recent reports, approximately 4,100 furnace units were recently recalled due to electrical shock hazards. The blower motor in the gas-fired furnaces is not grounded, which can pose a danger to workers services the units and others, such as homeowners, that come into contact with the units. The furnaces are used in home heating and cooling systems.

Victims of negligent truck drivers are protected

A negligent truck driver can be extremely dangerous for those sharing the roadways with them. Drivers, passengers and other occupants of passenger vehicles suffer the most harm in truck accidents because of the significant size disparity between semi trucks and the other vehicles on the road. The size disparity and potential for catastrophic injuries and damages present a serious concern for the traveling public, especially since hundreds of truck accidents caused by truck drivers occur in Virginia and other states across the nation each year.

Victims of truck accidents and their families are legally protected and may be able to recover damages if they have been harmed in a truck accident because of a truck driver's negligence. Victims of truck accidents may be able to recover compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering damages and wrongful death damages. Depending on the circumstances, both personal injury and wrongful death legal options help protect victims of truck accidents and allow them to bring a claim for damages.

A look at the problem of distracted driving in Virginia

In Virginia, 8 out of 10 traffic accidents are related to distracted driving. When a driver removes their eyes from the roadway, a serious accident can result with serious injuries to passengers, occupants of other vehicles and others using the roadway. It is important to keep in mind that when a driver is on the phone having a conversation while driving, their brain activity focused on driving is reduced by nearly 40 percent. Using a cell phone has been identified as a serious cause of distraction while driving.

Additionally, texting while driving or accessing social medial while driving are the most dangerous distracted driving activities a driver can engage in. These distracted driving activities increase the driver's chances of a car accident by 23 times. Distracted driving activities include any activities that remove the driver's eyes, hands or focus from the roadway. Texting while driving is considered particularly dangerous because it combines all types of distracted driving and removes the driver's eyes, hands and focus from the roadway.

Safety tips for truck drivers to help avoid truck accidents

This blog recently discussed that April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, while also reviewing the serious dangers of distracted driving. Distracted Driving Awareness Month began in 2014 when the United States Department of Transportation noticed an increase in distracted driving-related accidents. Distracted driving can also cause truck accidents, which makes truck driver safety another point of concern. A variety of safety tips can help truck drivers keep those they share the roadways with safe.

One professional truck driver notes that distracted driving is the biggest threat to safety on the roadways. Putting the phone down, however, can eliminate that type of driver distraction. Another tip is to store the phone away while driving in a location that will not create temptation to use it or look at it while driving. Additionally, it is important to never text while driving. A single word text removes the driver's eyes from the roadway for 5 second which, while traveling at 60 mph, is enough time to travel the distance of a football field.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

While many Virginia residents see many benefits to motor vehicles, they are also aware that there are many risks. Because April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, it is a good opportunity to understand what distracted driving is and the dangers it poses. According to the National Safety Council, it is estimated that greater than 40,000 victims died in car accidents during 2016 and cell phone use was the leading cause of those accidents. In Virginia, drivers who use their cell phones while driving can receive a traffic infraction totaling $125 the first time and $250 the second time.

In addition to receiving a costly traffic citation, distracted driving can also be dangerous and can cause significant harm to victims when it results in accidents. Unfortunately, distracted driving can have a broad and negative impact on victims, which is why it is important for distracted drivers to understand the dangers they may be placing others in. A driving instructor in Virginia noted that distracted driving places others, including other drivers, passengers and pedestrians, sharing the roadway in danger.

Up to 1,000 ATVs recalled for fire and burn hazards

ATV use is increasingly popular, which is why it is important to be familiar with safety concerns and protections for riders. Approximately 850 to 1,000 all terrain vehicles or ATVs)have been recalled because of a fire hazard. The ATVs were recently recalled because the side panel heat shield can melt, creates a fire and burn hazard for riders of these recalled ATVs. Additionally, the exhaust springs can stretch and damage the exhaust seal, resulting in exhaust leaks, which can also create fire and burn hazards for riders. The ATV recall includes 2015 and 2016 models, all of them coming in a variety of colors.

The manufacturer has received 793 reports of incidents related to the defect, which included reports of warped, melted or burned side panels. The incidents have led to 47 fires and 4 burn injuries being reported. Consumers with recalled ATVs are encouraged to immediately discontinue use of the ATVs and contact the manufacturer for a free repair. Product safety is a serious issue that the legal process does not take lightly. As a result, victims harmed by defective or dangerous products enjoy a variety of protections.

A look at the dangers of distracted driving

Distracted driving is a dangerous phenomenon on roads and highways throughout the country. It is a risky activity that not only put a motorist's life in danger but also risks the lives of other travelers on the roadway. It causes a driver to take their mind off the primary task of driving and is the cause of numerous accidents in Virginia and other states across the nation each year.

During 2014, distracted driving resulted in the deaths of 3,179 victims and injuries to 431,000 other victims. Distracted driving includes cell phone use while driving, texting and driving and a host of other activities that remove the driver's attention from the roadway. Distracted driving can be a danger to drivers, passengers, pedestrians and other bystanders sharing the roadways.

What is a defective product?

Defective products are a serious concern for victims harmed by them. Injuries caused by a defective product may give rise to liability to a number of parties. Parties that may be liable for harm caused by defective products can include the manufacturer of the parts of the product, the assembler of the product, the wholesaler and the retailer.

Products with inherent defects that cause harm to victims can be subject to a products liability claim for damages. Based on state laws, products liability claims for damages may be based on negligence, strict liability or breach of warranty of fitness. Products may be defective because of design defects, manufacturing defects and defects in marketing, such as improper instructions or a failure to warn users of potential dangers of the product.

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